What’s the deal?
In the -athlon sports, this one’s the one with three sports: swim, bike, run. First up is a 1.5km open water swim. Once they get out of the water, competitors have to hop on a bike and ride 40km. Then they finish up the race with a nice, refreshing 10km run. First one to the finish line wins.
Men and women compete in their own individual races.
Why should I watch?
The mass start is something to see, as everyone has to jockey for position–which invariably involves some kicks to the head. After that, the transitions are the place to watch–if it takes someone forever to get off their wetsuit and onto the bike, that could cost them the race. Plus, watching athletes who’ve mastered the ability to do three sports in a row and race for about two hours is a pretty amazing feat.
Potential drinking game:
Anytime someone cramps up/bonks/hits the wall, drink.
The perfect snack:
Neapolitan ice cream
Over the years, triathlons have become pretty popular, and if you’re near any body of water that can house the swimming portion (doesn’t have to be an ocean, a lake will suffice), there might be a triathlon. The sport also has shorter (and longer) races–and sometimes even relays of three people, one doing each sport–so you don’t have to start in on the Olympic distance. Find out more about the sport at the International Triathlon Union’s website.
Races need a number of technical officials on the course to keep everything on the up and up. If you’re interested in joining their ranks, learn more here.